Helping teens develop into strong, healthy women
Novant Health Forsyth Medical Center, in conjunction with the Maya Angelou Women's Health & Wellness Center, provides resources for encouraging the development of teenagers into strong, healthy young women with positive self-images.
To find a Forsyth Medical Center physician to care for your daughter, call
During adolescence, girls establish a self-image: a concept of how they view themselves as well as how they think others may view them. This can affect personality, academic performance, and disposition. Thus, the development of a positive self-image is critical for children ages 11 to 15.
Studies show that many girls have a lower self-image than boys of the same age. Girls go through many physical changes during puberty such as the onset of menstruation, increased body fat, and facial acne that can lead to dissatisfaction with their bodies. During this age girls also begin to feel like they must conform to gender-role stereotypes. We can provide support and encouragement to adolescent girls in several ways:
- Nurture freedom from stereotyped gender expectations.
- Take girls into the workplace to observe the importance and contribution of women in the community.
- Make it a point to inquire regularly about your daughter's participation in school.
- Listen to your daughter. She may have questions, complaints, and comments about everything going on in her life and she needs to be heard.
- Be aware that girls receive conflicting messages about how they should look and act from school, television, magazines, and peers. Help them manage social expectations.
Remember, the strength of your daughter's self-image during adolescence may have long-term implications. Foster a positive self-image now, to help her become a strong woman. To that end, Forsyth Medical Center and Maya Angelou Women's Health & Wellness Center offer support and services related to adolescent development in these areas: